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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    159

    Sizing your touring boots

    Hey folks,

    Iíve been mulling over the intricacies of boot fitting for ski touring, and it got me wondering what conventional wisdom on the forums trends towards.

    Iíve got tricky feet to fit in ski boots. (Very) High instep, bony ankle, medium width, skinny heel.

    With alpine boots, Iíve spent numerous sessions working with a fitter to get myself in to a ~10mm shell fit - but it wasnít pretty (chilblains and frostbite on my toes, a nondescript pinky toe injury that has resulted in my left foot being constantly swollen, and numb / cold feet that require heaters). I love (LOVE) how these boots ski, but they can be punishing on cold days for more than 7-8 hours of skiing.

    Flip to my touring boots, theyíre probably around a 17mm shell fit (I measure 255mm and these are 25.5). Theyíre wider than I need, roomy on top, and generally donít cause me much grief (maybe cold feet if Iím booting up something for an hour). They can feel a bit vague in shit snow or if Iím not getting right on top of my ski.

    For those of you getting after it, skiing your hardest lines out of bounds, spending 9+ hours in your boots - how do you balance your uphill and downhill performance? Iíve always been curious about sizing down to something closer to a race fit for touring, but Iím legitimately afraid it might cost me some toes or long term nerve damage.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    359
    Great question and something I still havenít really answered. I have fairly similar feet.

    Currently touring on ZGPTs in 25.5 and Scarpa F1 XTs in 26.5/27 with a 26.5 Palau liner. Tecnicas are a 1 finger fit: Scarpas are a 1.5 finger fit.

    The ZGTPs is a true performance fit on me, and not that different than my resort boots. I can ski big days in them, but as my foot swells, my metatarsals get squeezed. Tolerable, but Iím always excited to take those boots off. The scarpas are not as precise while skiing, but I donít really have an upper limit on how long I can ski them.

    So really, to answer your question, I like having a performance boot and a comfort boot in the quiver and decide based on how long the day will be, or what type of terrain I expect to ski.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    29,241
    same size for touring and alpine
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2,285
    I measure 27. I went with the conventional wisdom of sizing down my khions are they are punched to the max. I used to tour with them. My toes can't take it anymore. I probably did some damage to my foot. Now I use them with zipfits as resort boots and they are great. I wanted a good heel hold and even sized down I only got the fit I wanted with zipfits. My next boots were 2x Mercury. I went 27.5 and fit is ok, but touring in them has been comfortable. I don't think I will ever go with a boot that the toes touch the toe box. If you have a very competent boot fitter maybe size down. Dunno I have yet to find one that I click with.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Winthrop, WA.
    Posts
    1,470
    I like a precise, performance fit in both if possible. Tried the comfort fit once for the touring boot and ended up with an epic blister that left me on the bench for 3+ weeks, even with inbounds boots. Plus the loose boots ski like shit, especially in shitty conditions when you need them to perform the most. Something that has helped me a lot over the past couple of years in dealing with feet swelling is compression socks. Use them for everything and not going back. I use the merino CEP's because I've got a proform but would like to try others.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,406
    I like the performance fit until I do some stupid adventure that involve downhill skinning or other shenanigans. Then I swear I'll get a larger shell size for my next boots. Then a month or year goes past, the toe pain is forgotten and I find myself doing something stupid in the same boots as before and the cycle repeats.

    That probably says more about me than the benefits of a tight shell fit. But really, the next boots I'm going for a bit more space..... I swear....

    Edit: That said I don't ski that hard in the backcountry but am usually in my boots for 6+ hours.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    1,686
    I had the same size for both when i had resort boots. My patrol career left me with nerve damage, and in combination with trips to very cold places i tend towards the comfy end of things. This certainly means a tradeoff in downhill performance but itís worth it to me to avoid further injuries. Iím not entirely sure what my shell fit is though, so no precise data points.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Side WA
    Posts
    351
    My feet measure about 295 mm long, and I wear US 13 or 14 depending on the shoes.

    I've got both size 29 resort and touring boots. I was fit into the touring boots by GregL a couple pairs ago, and he did a couple punches. In the past, I used to use size 28 inbounds but those required too many punches, honestly. I am considering going up to a 30 in my next touring boot because I think I can make it work and want more space for my forefeet.

    It kind of depends on the boot model. Some touring shells are a bit short to save weight.

    I often find that my new touring boots fit great on normal pow yo-yo laps, but when I get a big day they start to feel cramped. Then I need to get another punch. I am pretty convinced your toes should not feel cramped at all in your touring boot, ever. They need to wiggle and splay as you walk and stride. Finding the right combination of that comfort but decent heel and instep hold is tricky.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Side WA
    Posts
    351
    Also, you need a bit of extra width for your feet to bulge outwards as you walk. I don't see those little bits of extra space making a huge performance decrease to worry about it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    4,365
    I measure 27.5 and I'm in 27.5 in done and touring boots.

    They are pretty comfortable, but i punched then to get more width, because i got Morton's neuroma 10 years ago because of too narrow boots.

    I can easily wiggle my toes and i have room laterally in the forefoot.

    For me, to ski well in bad conditions, the upper 2 buckles need to be pretty tight, and the forefoot can be loose



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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    1,141
    I'm in the camp of having bigger touring boots than resort boots. 90% of touring is walking so I'm okay with sacrificing a little performance during the 10% to get better comfort and circulation during the 90%. I wear a 12 and my resort boot is a 28.5, touring boot is a 29.5

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    西 雅 圖
    Posts
    5,013
    Depends on what touring boot. I always ski a 26.5 alpine boot (measure 27.7 on a Brannock), but have had to size up in a number of touring boots (TLT5, TLT6 first two generations, Quantum Asolos, Zero G Peak). I've been able to make a 26.5 Backland Carbon (2 different generations) work with about a 4mm toe punch.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2,285
    Greg what prevents you from downsizing those boots?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    西 雅 圖
    Posts
    5,013
    Quote Originally Posted by Cocximus View Post
    Greg what prevents you from downsizing those boots?
    They were/are too short. Still getting over a toenail trauma from last July on Rainier with the "26.5" Peak Carbon. If you look at the current crop of 1000-1200 gram boots, many have BSL's of 288 or so (my Redster CS is 305mm for comparision) and they realistically run about 5mm to 8mm shorter than the same size alpine boot. The Backland Carbon is marginally longer and I made a 26.5 work with a toe length punch, but for the rest I needed to go to the next mondopoint size. Keep in mind that the short strand carbon-reinforced shells can't be punched like regular Grilamid. I actually might have been able to ski in a 26.5 Dalbello Quantum Asolo Factory but I couldn't get my foot in it; same with the first gen Skorpius.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,149
    I think I need the same size, but with more toe length/room for touring where you are walking on flat ground, downhill skinning or perhaps kicking steps - all with the upper buckles loosened which allow a slight amount of foot movement. I know because I spent Saturday riding a sled in my touring boots and one of my toenails is now a goner....

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